This weekend, wide swaths of Main Street in Mount Pleasant and Denman Street in the West End will be closed to vehicle traffic for something called Car Free Day — also known as the Day Angry Old People Go On Facebook, Use the Phrase ‘Mayor Moonbeam’ and Complain about Bike Lanes. Just kidding, that’s everyday on Facebook.
The annual street festival that “reclaims traffic thoroughfares as community focused public spaces” has grown in popularity since it started in 2008. So much so, that it’s nearly impossible to find parking for those who choose to drive to the event in honour of not driving. It’s a real conundrum. Here are some tips to finding that killer parking spot for you and your sweet ride:
Park in residential parking
Sure, you might get towed or ticketed, and you’ll surely annoy residents of the neighbourhood you’re car-squatting in, but you won’t be denied. You are a driver. And drivers drive. Roll down the window and let freedom blow through your driver hair as you crawl through traffic at a skin-rippling 20 km an hour. Heck, you could probably get to Marpole in 40 minutes if you really want to live on the edge. And you do. Because the edge is where danger plays.
Park on someone’s lawn
Despite what you’ve been led to believe with your eyes and mind, lots of people actually possess lawns in Vancouver. Find those people’s lawns and park on them. They won’t mind. They probably won’t even notice. The people who are renting out the house with a lawn through Airbnb might notice but not the owners of the house with a lawn. They’re probably somewhere else that’s way cheaper and listening to Musical Youth’s “Pass the Dutchie” on repeat. Is there any other way?
Park in an alley
Alleys aren’t just cool places to shoot music videos or run an underground cock-fighting league, they are oases of free parking. Once again, towing, ticketing and the disapproval of those in the neighbourhood come with the territory, but the risk is worth it. Because risk is the neighbour of danger, which lives on the edge, and once rented a basement suite from phallic insecurity.
Drive in circles
If you’re one of those lame-o’s who think it’s beneficial to show their kids the joys of reclaimed thoroughfares and community spaces that lack cool cars, and you still can’t find parking, you can always drive AROUND the Car Free Day event, dropping your kids off at one end and picking them up at the other. It should take about the same time to walk the 20-block stretch as it will be to drive, so it’s a win-win.
Park next to transit
By driving to the bus stop or rapid transit station — even if it’s just a block or two away from your home — you are reclaiming your car’s dominance. You are placing your mighty car back atop the transportation food chain where it belongs. Like a lioness feasting on a gazelle. Keep this image in your mind as you saunter down Main Street or Denman this weekend, drinking over-priced coconut water that you spent 20 minutes in a lineup for. You are the lioness who walks on the edge, where danger plays, next to the basement suite rented by phallic insecurity. And that basement suite comes with its own parking spot.